Chef Andy Ricker — a Vermont-born white dude who won a national restaurant award for bringing authentic Thai food to America — says “crazy” is relative. OK. But you probably don’t eat slow-grilled pig boob on the regs.
Chef Andy Ricker (left) and JJ Goode (right) on a cookbook research trip in Thailand.
The Pok Pok cookbook.
I'm extremely lucky: In the course of helping chef Andy Ricker write his first cookbook, Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand , we took two trips to Thailand, where Ricker has spent two decades traveling, eating, and learning. Needless to say I ate well, and the result of our trips are the more than 70 recipes, travel stories, and profiles in the cookbook. But another cool part was trying foods that were unlike anything I'd ever thought of eating before. Most people would call them weird. But chefs, Andy included, hate that word. After all, is chomping on frogs and bugs really any stranger than eating pink slime, a.k.a chicken nuggets? So just think of them as interesting. Note: This list does not include yam hok, a soup made with buffalo fetus, because, well, I just couldn't.